Wednesday, March 31, 2010

offshore drilling = green energy?

As many of you know, US President Obama recently announced the energy plan that allows drilling along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska, which obviously receiving some (many) criticism from not only the environmentalists, but also Republicans. Do you remember when he was against offshore drilling before the 2008 election heat got him? I can easily imagine what changed his mind ($$$), but this massive oceanic environment destruction couldn't have indicated from his manifesto on offshore drilling released in late 2008. What Obama told CNN at the time was "I remain skeptical that new offshore drilling will bring down gas prices in the short-term or significantly reduce our oil dependence in the long-term, though I do welcome the establishment of a process that will allow us to make future drilling decisions based on science and fact" - so why would he? I see a sign of the repetition of (bad)history coming along from this decision...
[image from Cagle Cartoons]

Monday, March 22, 2010

WWD (World Water Day!)

[from Story of Bottled Water]
Happy safe tasty water day for all! Annie Leonard (wow, she has her wikipedia page!) from thelegendary Story of Stuff has released another fantastic, educational and truly convincing video about our bottled-water-addiction and behind story.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

happy vernal equinox!

[via NYT]
Today, March 20th, is the vernal(Spring) equinox - this is a special day for all science/astronomy nerds (including myself) in the world. There is no religious, cultural, ethical background you need to celebrate this special occasion - in fact, this kind of days should truly be global holidays which all the people praise the nature and thank for our existence in this wonderful and still mysterious world.

Speaking of space, I found a cool (nerdy) film perfect to celebrate this day: Hubble 3D - I say must see!

america's tomorrow

[via America 2050]
In the near future, one of the most polluting countries can change to something different.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

(updated) quick announcement!: BLDGBLOG

Finally, Geoff Manaugh, the author of BLDGBLOG(aka my favourite blog), will speak to San Franciscans! I have been secretary admiring him for the past few years, and got enormously upset when he held the book party in NY, instead of his home city, SF, last year. But, time has come - SPUR is hosting this wonderful event on March 16th at 6pm.

Don't judge me for being such a dork, but I am taking my (well adored)BLDGBLOG book with me.


So I finally made it to Geoff Manaugh talk (10 minutes after it started...I blame the MUNI for it) and I very much enjoyed the night. Even though I was suffering from ill-sound coughing, high fever, and extreme dizziness from cold, his talk was fun, smart and inspiring. Funny, I have been reading all what he talked about, but still amaze me again.

Friday, March 05, 2010

energy talk by Bill Gates

A collection of interesting/inspiring speeches on TED always amaze me, but this Bill Gates on energy, I couldn't help but wonder if people really believed in our technology to save us from predicted disastrous future. Yes, it is the technologies, or the human intelligence I should call it here, that improved and advanced our life. Generally people live longer, safer and healthier than what it was hundreds of years ago where technology level was much lower. However, at the same time, this technology has created other issues we did not have hundreds of years ago - climate change, chronic diseases such as asthma, acid rain, water contamination and et cetra. We know that our intelligence can never be enough to predict the future with hundred percent certainty. By now, we know that there is always a downside for an amazingly beneficial innovation such as the nuclear technology. And still, we think that our future, and the future of this magnificent planet can be secured by our intelligence - Really?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

life needs fun

See? People change their behaviour so easily with The Fun Theory.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Earthquake effects on the global environment

This is a good example how one regional disaster can actually be a global disaster.

According to NASA report, the length of each Earth day may have been shortened by the Feb. 27 magnitude 8.8 earthquake in Chile. Yes, it is only a slight difference - but this little difference can be crucial, who knows. We human beings inhabit only last 4 million years out of 4.5 billion years of the history of the Earth and we only know a little things about our own planet. As we already know, one earthquake in the far South American continent can cause some destructive tsunami in South and East Asian countries. In a global society like now, people clearly see connections of a regional matter affecting a global matter when it comes to economy and politics. The strange thing is, however, people tend to ignore the fact the environment is also the same. Relocating environmentally harmful factories to China does not help those Western countries from the environmental depletion - the pollution on and above China's land can be carried to Korea, Japan and through the Pacific Ocean, to the world. We live in a closed environment and there is no way to vanish things magically - the waste packed in the landfill continuously pollute the environment, toxic gases emitted from factories travel miles and miles away and still be toxic, the CFCs we created keep depleting the ozone layer.

Now, isn't it time we really should think about what is going on in the world, not in your wallet?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

crap to crop

The old way is back. More than 200 years ago in Edo (the famous Tokyo now), using of human waste as a fertilizer was a common/usual way to keep the city sanitary clean and safe. People in Edo were contracted with farmers in outskirt and exchanged their waste with fresh vegetables or money. Farmers pick up the human waste, bring them to their crops, use them as a fertilizer, grow nutritious vegetables, bring those vegetables back to the city to feed people in Edo - what a brilliant cycle. Unfortunately, the exponential population growth and the westernization of Japan have disabled the system to sustain. Now in 2010, a Swedish idea man, Anders Wilhelmson, brings the system back - not in Tokyo, but in countries and regions where sanitary, environmental and health conditions are severe. He and his colleagues' invention, called Peepoo, provides disposal mobile toilet to those people who don't have access to the infrastructure, and an organic nutritious fertilizer for their crops - only with a little cost.

It is only a toilet, who live and being spoiled in a house with endless amount of water, electricity and natural gas supply will say. But it is an essential infrastructure that keep us healthy - doctors and medicines can only cure the results of some diseases, but the living environment can eliminate the causes of various diseases.

(via NYT)